Did you know that dog owners get more exercise than people without dogs? Dog owners walk an average of 22 minutes more per day and tend to walk at a faster pace compared with people who don’t own dogs. Beyond encouraging humans to get outside for a daily walk, dogs serve as fantastic companions on hikes and runs. Adopting a dog might be just the motivation you need to develop a consistent fitness routine!
Today, HealthyMe Living explores all the mental and physical health benefits of owning a dog and helps you prepare your life for a furry friend.
The Physical Benefits of Getting a Dog
The CDC recommends that adults get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity every week. If you have a dog, you’re four times as likely to meet these guidelines! Regular physical activity will help you manage weight, reduce your risk of disease, keep your bones and muscles strong, improve your sleep quality, and protect your heart health, among many other physical health benefits. This is why dog owners enjoy better overall health compared with non-dog owners.
The Mental Health Benefits of Getting a Dog
Adopting a dog can also have a positive effect on your mental health. First, it’s important to acknowledge all of the mental health benefits that come with regular physical activity. By taking your dog on a brisk walk every day, you can keep your stress levels down, boost your creativity, and alleviate symptoms of depression.
What’s more, dogs offer mental health benefits even when you’re sedentary. Dogs have been found to relieve stress, foster feelings of comfort, promote socialization, and provide a sense of purpose to their owners. Dogs also inspire mindfulness by encouraging us to focus on the present moment, which can help us stay grounded when life feels out of control.
How to Cover Pet Care Costs
Before you get a dog, there are a couple of things to keep in mind to ensure your new pet doesn’t add to your stress levels. For example, if money is tight and you’re concerned about potential pet care costs, planning is essential. Visiting the vet can get very expensive if your dog needs tests, exams, procedures, prescription medications, surgeries, or disease treatments. Purchasing pet insurance is the best way to keep your pet healthy while avoiding high vet bills. Research your insurance options and be sure to read online reviews. You want to find a pet insurance solution that offers good coverage at a price that fits your budget!
Preparing for Fitness Activities with Your Dog
You can engage in all kinds of fitness activities with your dog, from hiking and running to paddle boarding and kayaking. Make sure you and your furry friend are prepared for your excursions! If you could use some new workout gear, invest in some new, breathable fitness clothing to help you stay comfortable during workouts with your dog. Also, it’s worth investing in an escape-proof harness for your dog to keep them safe and comfortable, too!
Consider also purchasing a few pet supplies before heading out with your dog. If you’ll be running and hiking with your dog, invest in a hands-free leash. If you’ll be out on the water, be sure to protect your pet with a well-fitting life jacket. Whatever activities you’re doing, keep a dog water bottle in your backpack to ensure your furry friend stays hydrated.
If you need some encouragement to pick up a new fitness routine, adopting a dog might just provide the motivation you’ve been looking for. Your furry friend is bound to improve your mental health as well! After adopting a dog, be sure to pick up the right fitness supplies and purchase a pet insurance policy to keep them safe out there!
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